Wednesday | 27 Oct 2021

Electric-only zones compulsory in hybrid era

Specific liaison sections which top-tier competitors must drive in full electric mode will be mandatory in next season’s FIA World Rally Championship.

Designated zones close to service parks and ceremonial start areas will be highlighted in the roadbook at all 2022 rounds. Rally1 crews will be required to travel along them with their new-era plug-in hybrid cars in electric format.

Being able to run in full electric mode is a key component of the ground-breaking new Rally1 cars, which will be introduced into the WRC at the start of next year, and this capability will be showcased as frequently as possible.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Zones will vary in distance, taking into consideration local conditions. The location and distance of each HEV zone will be agreed between the event organiser and WRC Promoter and ratified by the FIA.

Any crew failing to follow the roadbook will be reported to event stewards. If a crew is prevented from using electric mode due to a technical issue, teams must inform the FIA before the crew enters the zone. A report will still be submitted to the stewards for possible action depending on the nature of the fault.

Rally1 machinery will drive specified liaison zones in electric mode

Rally1 machinery will feature special identification graphics to enable fans and officials to differentiate the high-voltage vehicles from conventionally-powered cars taking part in the same event.

Red ‘HY’ letters on a white background will be placed next to the front door panel as well as a red background – rather than black – for the competition number.

Spectator safety will be further enhanced next season with the introduction of new in-car technology in Rally1 cars.

An Artificial Intelligence Safety Camera will be compulsory in all top-tier hybrid cars. The forward-facing camera will scan special stages to analyse the position of spectators and assist FIA safety delegate Michele Mouton in identifying unsafe viewing locations.

Special graphics will identify Rally1 cars next season

All measures were rubber-stamped by the FIA World Motor Sport Council earlier this month. The council also agreed to a revision of the Wolf Power Stage bonus points system for WRC2 drivers next year.

Only the fastest three drivers from the premier support category will be rewarded with extra points, on a descending scale of 3-2-1, in the rally-closing test instead of the top five.

Drivers selected for live TV coverage in the Power Stage can be compromised if they run higher in the start order than their rivals. The current scoring scale creates too much disparity if drivers fighting for the lead are not competing in the same conditions.

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